A lot has happened since my last post. Of my to-do list, I did get a french Guinness in Poitiers, and Marseille too. I never paid my hospital bills, which was only about 90 euros or so. But I didn't have any checks... Got 3 huge bags of stuff to Sylvie. Went to see Baptistère St. Jean, but didn't make it to Musée St. Croix. Last week I went out to La Grande Goule with Sophie and Marie and a random guy bought us each a glass of champagne. Twice. Sweet. The next day I went to the apartment of a few of the french girls who are coming to Oregon next year. The weekend before last, I spent in Niort with Sophie and her family, which was very enjoyable. It was fun to hear her family speak english and french all the time, since her mother is english and her father is french. Me, Sophie, her boyfriend Guillaume, her sister, and brother, all went to La Rochelle to spend the day and see the aquarium. Another day I went with her family to the "Marais Poitevin", where we rented a paddle boat and floated through these beautiful canals. The day before I left I tied up some loose ends with my insurance and bank and stuff, and went bowling with Sophie and Marie, which was really fun... but I lost both games haha, but it's been a long time since I last played. The next day I woke up pretty early to finishing cleaning and packing my bags, and I had to go through the room with mumble mouth. It was a stressful morning. Fortunately Sophie and Guillaume came and picked me up to take me to the train station, which was super nice. I appreciated the help, and I also liked not having to leave all alone. It was hard to say goodbye though, that's for sure. I made it to Paris ok, and I decided to take a taxi from Gare de Montparnasse to Gare de Lyon, which only has less than 3 miles between them, so I thought a taxi couldn't cost that much. But last Thursday happened to be the day that everyone decided to strike and the traffic was terrible and all the intersections were crowded and/or blocked, and the cops absolutely sucked at directing cars. So it took an hour to get from one place to another, and I paid 32 euros. I was not happy. Normally I would have taken the metro which is super easy, but with what's probably pushing 80 lbs. of luggage, and stairs, and people... taking the metro would have been extremely difficult. I made it to Toulon and spent the next 2 days at Milena's. We spent a lot of the time shopping and her boyfriend was really nice and bought me a new pair of flats because the soles of mine have become very unglued. The day i went to Stephane's, he asked us to meet in a town about an hour from where Milena lives, which was fine, but we didn't quite match up on a meeting time, so we waited for an hour, which didn't make her very happy. I felt pretty bad. But when I met up with Stephane, we went to the beach, and fortunately it was really hot, but the water wasn't. That night we went to his friend's house where we were going to stay the night because his parents are out of town. We left around midnight to go to an cool irish pub in Marseille with a dancefloor. I don't know what happened, but when we left the pub, we went back to Stephane's friend's house, got my stuff, then went to Stephane's house. I think what he told me is that is friend gets violent when drunk and Stephane didn't want us to stay there. We got to Stephane's house at around 7 am, slept till 12 pm, and Stephane, Sebastian (his brother), and I went to Cassis to look at the rummage sale they had going on. Today Stephane took me to the airport, and I flew to Munich, where I met Andy. I was soooo glad Lufthansa didn't charge me extra for my bags being heavy. According to their website, if a bag weighs more than the limit, it costs 10 euros each additional kilo. I was prepared to pay 100 euros or so more, but the guy at the counter didn't charge me. Maybe because I was just going to Munich and from Marseille it's only a 1.5 hour flight. It was really great to see Andy after 4 years. We drove through Landberg to go to his house. We were there for about an hour, and then we went to the grocery store to buy some beer and pizza, and then went to his friend's apartment which was right next door, and we played some PS3. His friend is coming with us to Rock im Park. I also got to meet his girlfriend, who is very sweet. We went into Landsberg all together to a few bars. It's sooo nice to be back in Landsberg after so long. I've really missed it. It's been a little difficult putting my brain in german-speaking mode after speaking french for so long. Tomorrow I'm going to town with Andy's mom and brother, because he had to go back to his university town because he still has classes. His mom is very nice as well, but she speaks very little english, so I'm going to really have to push my german-speaking abilities. But I think it will be easier after a few days. For the moment, I still automatically want to respond in french, and I kinda throw french words in my german sentences randomly. But I'm not too worried about communicating. Most people here speak very good english, and for those who don't, it gives me a good opportunity to practice. On wednesday, Andy will come back and we'll get together with everyone else that's going to RIP to guy more food and stuff and get better organized. I think on thursday we're leaving super early, like at 4 am, so we can drive the 2 hours to the RIP town and find a good place to camp, because there's going to be a lotttt of people.
photos to come